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1. A polite phrase used after one has done something that does not adhere to proper etiquette. Oh, excuse me—I didn't mean to bump into you, ma'am. Petey, say "excuse me" after you burp!
2. A phrase said when one is trying to pass through a crowded area. This phrase is sometimes verbally shortened to 'scuse me. Excuse me, everyone, I have to get through with this cart.
3. An expression of politeness that precedes a possible disagreement or an upsetting question. Excuse me, sir, but didn't you specifically tell us to make that change last month?
4. An indignant response, often posed as a question. Excuse me? How can you say something that hurtful to me, your own mother? Well, excuse me for actually caring about your future, unlike you!
5. A request for one to repeat what they have said. Excuse me? I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.
6. A phrase used when one is correcting a verbal mistake. We had 200, excuse me, 210 people at the event.
7. An apologetic phrase that precedes an interruption. Excuse me, sir, but your wife is calling on line two—she says it's urgent.
8. An apologetic phrase that precedes a departure. Excuse me, I have to leave early for a doctor's appointment. I'll see you all tomorrow.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Excuse me.and Excuse, please.; Pardon (me).; 'Scusc (me).; 'Scusc, please.
1. an expression asking forgiveness for some minor social violation, such as belching or bumping into someone. ('Scuse is colloquial, and the apostrophe is not always used.) John: Ouch! Bob: Excuse me. I didn't see you there. Mary: Oh! Ow! Sue: Pardon me. I didn't mean to bump into you. Tom: Ouch! Mary: Oh, dear! What happened? Tom: You stepped on my toe. Mary: Excuse me. I'm sorry.
2. Please let me through.; Please let me by. Tom: Excuse me. I need to get past. Bob: Oh, sorry. I didn't know I was in the way. Mary: Pardon me. Sue: What? Mary: Pardon me. I want to get past you.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Also, I beg your pardon, pardon me. Forgive me, as in Excuse me, please let me pass, or Pardon me for asking, or I beg your pardon, I don't think so. These phrases are used as an apology for interrupting a conversation, bumping into someone, asking a speaker to repeat something, politely disagreeing with something said, and so on. The first dates from about 1600, the first variant from about 1800, the second from the mid-1700s.
2. Also, excuse oneself. Allow or ask to leave or be released from an obligation. For example, Please excuse me, I have to leave now, or I asked the judge to excuse me from jury duty. [1920s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1 used before you do or say something that might annoy somebody, or to get somebody’s attention: Excuse me, is anybody sitting here? ♢ Excuse me, could you tell me the time, please?
2 used for saying sorry or disagreeing with somebody, or for showing that you are annoyed: Excuse me, but I think you’re mistaken. ♢ Excuse me, sir, but you can’t park there!
3 used when you are leaving the room for a short time: Excuse me a minute, I’ll be right back.
4 (especially American English) used for saying sorry for something you have done: Excuse me, did I step on your toe?
5 (especially American English) used when you did not hear what somebody said and you want them to repeat it
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. Used to acknowledge and ask forgiveness for an action that could cause offense.
2. Used to request that a statement be repeated.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.